Family members working together with
doctors can use home treatment to provide the best possible care for a child with
cerebral palsy (CP).
Tips for parents and family members
- Learn about the condition. Being informed can
help you understand how best to help your child. Local or national cerebral palsy
organizations can help, especially in dealing with the impact of daily emotional
and lifestyle issues. Talk with your doctor or call your local hospital for
suggestions. For more information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of
- Learn about your child's educational rights. Laws in the United States give children with special needs access to free public school services and some free treatments. These educational rights also include protection of the parents' rights to be
fully informed about or disagree with educational decisions concerning their
child. Contact your state and local education departments for specific
information about these accommodations. Also,
vocational training may benefit some teens and young
- Work with teachers and school officials. Work
with your child's teachers, school administrators, special learning
consultants, and school boards to develop the best educational plan for your
child. A cooperative team approach helps your child realize his or her
- Provide emotional support. The needs of a child
with CP change over time. As children grow and become more aware of their
physical limitations, they need to be able to talk about their feelings and how
they are treated. It is sometimes easier for them to talk with someone who isn't a family member. Ask your doctor about whether emotional
counseling would benefit your child. Also, include
your child when making decisions about his or her health care.
- Take care of yourself. Get proper rest, eat well,
exercise, and learn
ways to cope with the challenges of raising a child with CP. You will be
better equipped to help your child when you have physical energy and emotional
- Help each other. The entire family is affected
when one member has CP.
Helping family members cope with this situation is
important, especially for siblings. You can help prevent other children from
having unrealistic fears and concerns, feeling left out, or becoming
You and your family and
friends can help your child reach his or her highest potential. Focus on your child's strengths. And build
self-esteem by helping your child learn to do things
by himself or herself.
- Growth and Development: Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem.